DAMS case history

Murlene Brake

Crohn's Disease

In 1959 when I was nineteen years old1 I began suffering from diarrhea each month at the onset of my menses. The episodes of diarrhea gradually worsened. By 1 984, I was experiencing loose-explosive bowel movements 5-to-20 times a day for at least 25 days a month.

In 1 980, I was diagnosed as having Chron's disease. I studied Chron's disease and told my doctor that my symptoms were not consistent with Chron's. He put me through another battery of terrible, uncomfortable tests and announced that I had Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD).

I moved to another state, found another doctor, took more tests, and since I had indicated that I did not believe that my symptoms were consistent with Chron's or IBD, I was diagnosed as having Irritable Bowel Syndrome (lBS). The word "syndrome" is a big umbrella word, so I quit arguing and began to accept the fact that I would have to live with my afflictions. The doctors also considered Multiple Sclerosis and Spasmodic Torticollis as possible diagnoses.

I had such severe adverse reactions to medications normally prescribed for Chron's, IBD and lBS that eventually I had to face my condition without the aid of medication. I was told that stress was a causal factor, but after taking an in-depth look at my life, I came to the conclusion that the only stress I had was the very real fear of "soiling" myself in public.

My condition became so bad that I had to abandon my career as a Management Analyst. The adverse impact on my life was terrible. I could not travel, I was afraid to accept dinner invitations, and I left many a grocery basket filled with groceries in the aisle and went home to clean up. In general my life was "in the toilet."

In addition, I was plagued with bouts of extreme fatigue, heart palpitations, esophageal spasms, kidney infections, respiratory infections, flu, colds, sinus and hay fever, allergies, subnormal temperature, laryngitis, weak leg muscles, muscle spasms, aches and pains that came and went, short term memory loss, mental confusion and a body that would not cooperate with my brain. Then depression reared its ugly head. I felt guilty all the time. My limitations kept my husband and me from enjoying life and doing almost everything. I was afraid that my condition, would eventually drive my husband away. I couldn't stand to live with me - how could he?

Then in 1984, my daughter heard on the TV news about a small community in Maryland. The entire community was ill and they finally discovered that their water was contaminated with mercury. When the contamination was cleared, the community regained their health. The symptoms reported were much like mine. So, I requested information on mercury poisoning from the Government Printing Office, the Department of Health and several other agencies. Every symptom I had ever suffered my entire life was on the list of symptoms caused by mercury toxicity. But how was I being exposed to mercury?

Then in 1985, after moving to Albuquerque, I went in to have my teeth cleaned. The dentist, Dr. Bill Wolfe, (the only mercury free dentist in the state at that time) told me that I had 1 2 silver amalgam fillings and gave me his patient letter explaining that amalgams contain 50% mercury by weight. AHA!

I made an appointment with my gastroenterologist to discuss the possibility of mercury toxicity. When I introduced the subject, he got up and walked out on me, saying, "That dentist is just trying to get your money."

So there I was - no one to sensibly discuss the subject with, my life was literally in the toilet, my future was virtually hopeless and for all I knew "that dentist" had found a way to make money. After a little more research (I couldn't turn up much on the subject), I decided that all I had to lose was money and "that dentist" may as well have some of mine.

But I had found a common theme in the literature - if you are sensitive to mercury, you should have your amalgams replaced. One of the few diagnostic tests available was a mercury patch test (not recommended). Twenty minutes after a mercury patch test was applied, my temperature fell, my blood pressure fell, my heart rate fell and I became unresponsive to questions. I spent the next 48 hours staring at the ceiling in a very severe state of depression. I made the decision to get the amalgams out.

The last amalgam came out on December 6, 1985. All my symptoms stopped immediately. During the next two years, my strength gradually returned. I had been ill most of my adult life so it took awhile to emotionally recognize that I was not sick, that I was healthy!

Here it is 1994, I am 53 years old, healthier and more active than I was in my twenties. My quality of life is excellent and my only physical limitations I have now are due to a cavitation, soon to be fully corrected.

I can truthfully say that at least 90% of my life-long health problems have been caused by dental work.

For example, I had my first amalgam placed at nine and the dentist even gave me some mercury to play with. Shortly after that, I developed asthma. Five years later the tooth broke, was pulled and the asthma attacks stopped.

In the ensuing years, 12 more amalgams were placed and I began racking up numerous, seemingly unrelated insidious physical, mental and emotional problems that disappeared after amalgam removal.

Then in 1990, while I was enjoying good health for the first time in my adult life I began to have spasms and pain in my left groin. Diagnosis: Osteoarthritis. Recommendation: Hip Replacement. Solution: Cavitation surgery.

People everywhere are suffering everyday from insidious, ever-progressing health problems that, like mine, are caused by the unscientific dental practices of yesterday and today.

How much longer will the public stay unaware of the devastation that can be laid directly at the feet of dentistry and how much longer will the public tolerate "the art of dentistry" and insist instead on "science in dentistry?"